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Following up on the barriers that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experience when accessing routine healthcare

In April 2015, Healthwatch Lancashire and Lancashire LGBT published a report about the barriers lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans people face when accessing routine healthcare.

Group Photo LGBT

Nearly one year later, Lancashire LGBT have confirmed that the report, which highlighted that one in four lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender men and women in Lancashire think that their sexual orientation affects the way they are treated by healthcare professionals, has been used to influence a number of projects which aim to improve people’s experiences of using health and social care services.

One of the projects Lancashire LGBT is delivering includes hard-to-reach engagement on behalf of NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group. The project aims to gather further experiences of people accessing routine healthcare with an aim to develop a ‘Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans People Charter of Values’ for GP practices.

In addition, Lancashire LGBT is working with University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust on a project focusing on understanding the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people, their families and their carers when accessing hospital services.

Lancashire LGBT also provide support for the consideration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in equality impact assessments and service redesign for NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Healthwatch Lancashire is also working to ensure that the views of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people community are listened to by those who manage and commission health and social care services.

In March 2016, Healthwatch Lancashire delivered a workshop activity for members of the Fylde Community LGBT Friends Group in Lytham St Annes in collaboration with Macmillan Cancer Support.

The workshop was part of a series of Macmillan and Healthwatch On Tour events to understand people’s views on cancer services. A report is set to be published showing the findings from the workshop. LGBT Event 2

Dr Lewis Turner, Project Manager for Lancashire LGBT, said: “Even now in 2016, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people still experience significant barriers when accessing healthcare as well as some specific health inequalities. The findings of this research have enabled us to start influencing healthcare providers to make positive changes for LGB&T people when accessing routine healthcare.”

Neil Greaves, Healthwatch Lancashire Communications Manager, said: “Healthwatch Lancashire is committed to ensuring that views of all people and communities in Lancashire are heard and acted upon by those who manage and commission health and social care services in Lancashire.”

The Healthwatch Lancashire and Lancashire LGBT report on the barriers lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans people face when accessing routine healthcare can be read and downloaded by clicking here.